Tasty Tuesday … Marc Bittman’s Preserved Lemons

Cooking, Photography, Tasty Tuesday ..., Uncategorized, Vegan Dishes, Vegetarian Cooking

A little late this week,
but this jar full of salty-tart preserved lemons will make you smile every time you use them!

Winter here on the West-coast means beautifully fragrant and sweet-tart Meyer lemons! Last time I went to the store I procured a giant bag of these organic beauties to try Marc Bittman’s recipe for preserved lemons. It’s quick and easy to make and won’t create a big mess in your kitchen. These lemons are great to add a little zip to just about any dish I can think of. My only suggestion is that you use organic lemons if possible. The regular ones are generally heavily sprayed with chemicals and since you add the peel to your dishes, I believe it’s better to go organic. I’d also recommend that you use pure kosher salt. Read the label as many salts contain anti-caking agents and who knows what else.

Preserved Meyer Lemons

  • 3 to 4 pounds of lemons, unwaxed, washed, dried and cut lengthwise into quarters
  • around 3/4 to 1 cup of kosher salt (I only had Himalayan pink salt and it worked fine)
  • 1 cinnamon stick, about 3 to 4 inches long
  • several whole cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • a few whole black peppercorns
  • 2 whole cardamom pods
  • 1 bayleaf

Fill a clean quart size Mason jar with boiling water while you prepare the ingredients.

When ready, drain the jar and sprinkle a quarter inch layer of salt at the bottom of the jar.
Next, add a layer of the cut-up lemons and push them down.
Sprinkle them generously with salt and add some of the spices.

Add more lemons, then salt and spices until the jar is tightly filled.
End with a thick layer of salt and then make sure the lemons are submerged in lemon juice.
Screw on a lid, shake the jar and then push down the lemons again if needed.
Leave the jar on the kitchen counter for about 7 to 10 days.
Shake the jar every day and make sure the lemons are covered with liquid.
It might get a little bubbly but should not smell funky or get moldy.
Once the time’s up, move the jar to the fridge and wait another week before using.

To use, take a piece of lemon out of the jar with a clean utensil,
rinse it under water to remove the extra salt and then finely mince it.

I use these preserved lemons in lentil soup and anything else that can benefit from a little pep.
They are also divine sautéd with pine nuts, fresh herbs and sun-dried tomatoes over spaghetti!
Once you have a jar of them, you’ll find they’re great added to all kinds of dishes.

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My passions in life are vegetarian cooking, gardening, photography, writing, good books, traveling and nature. Thanks for stopping by, Sabine

18 thoughts on “Tasty Tuesday … Marc Bittman’s Preserved Lemons”

    • Oh yes, you could mince some of the lemon and put it in rice. Maybe sauté it gently with a little chili pepper and also garlic to top the rice with. I’ll have to try it! Let me know how you like them if you try this recipe.


  1. Great idea, Sabine. I’ve been using lemon juice and zest to brighten soups and stews all winter. A few days ago I fixed lemon-ginger chicken and vegetable soup. Thanks for the recipe foe preserved lemons.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Tasty Tuesday … Non-Traditional Vegetable Tagine | in cahoots with muddy boots

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